The play "Candida" by GB Shaw is about a woman who is a loyal and obedient wife of a clergyman named Morell. The names of both the character are suggestive. Candida means frank (she is frank) and Morell depicts that he believes in and practices morality.
There is no adventure or mysteries in the play. The plot is quite simple having just three scenes. Scene 1 opens in the morning, scene 2 in afternoon and final scene in the night.
Candida is thus a domestic play revolving around the "Woman question. James Morell is a man and he as well as Candida believes that the latter is dependent on the former. However, this allusion soon breaks as soon as Eugene Marchbanks enters the play. He is in love with Candida thought he is quite younger than her.
Eugene is a poet and he keeps praising Candida. Seeing her doing the domestic works, he feels pain and even taunts Morell for making her doing so and not helping her. Initially Morell does not take him and his love seriously. However he soon begins feeling insecure when recognises the fact that Candida is not dependent on her but it is he who cannot live without her.
Candida is the one who takes care of all his needs and covers his weaknesses. Finally he starts fearing that Candida will leave him and elope with Eugene. However she remains with him though she is secretly in love with Eugene who goes away in the end.
The play takes up an a domestic issue which normally is not an issue. Traditionally, a woman is considered to be the one who looks after the household and the children. She is not allowed to become independent and thus she depends on their husbands for their bread and butter. Shaw questions this mentality of people in general and Victorian Society in particular. It must be noted that feminism emerged in Victorian Age and the play gives its glimpse.
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